Network Asking $500,000 for Ad Time in Sitcom’s Final Episode

Feb 13, 2014  •  Post A Comment

A sitcom that is winding down after a long and highly successful run wants advertisers to shell out $500,000 for 30 seconds of ad time in the finale. Writing in Variety, Brian Steinberg reports that’s the price being asked for spots in the final episode of CBS’s “How I Met Your Mother."

“Talk about an Eye-popping number,” Steinberg writes.

The show, which stars Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Segel and Josh Radnor, is wrapping after a nine-season run, with the finale set to air March 31.

Citing sources familiar with the negotiations, Steinberg adds: “Not everyone will pay that sum. Advertisers who bought the program during last year’s ‘upfront’ market, when networks seek to sell the bulk of their ad inventory for the fall season, were able to secure ad berths in the finale for between $300,000 and $350,000."

The price that CBS is seeking represents a considerable bump up from the show’s regular ad pricing, with the average 30-second spot going for $169,364 during the 2013-14 season, the story notes.

Only a “handful” of ad slots are still available in the finale, CBS Executive Vice President of Sales Chris Simon told the publication.

“People are paying for the expectation of a great audience delivery, and they want to be part of something everyone talks about the next day,” Dean Kaplan, exec vice president of sales strategy, planning and administration at the network, told Variety.

It’s not the most expensive ad time for a series finale, however. Commercial time in the finale of NBC’s “Seinfeld” fetched as much as $1.8 million, while NBC’s “Friends” went for between $1.5 million and $2.3 million, the story adds.

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